Infant sleep positioners potentially deadly, feds warn parents

The federal government is warning parents of infants to immediately stop using sleep positioners intended to prevent babies from rolling onto their stomachs while they sleep.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Consumer Product Safety Commission  said 12 infants have died over the last 13 years after they became trapped by positioners and suffocated. The makers of these products often promote them as devices to prevent sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS.

“To date, there is no scientifically sound evidence that infant sleep positioners prevent SIDS,” said Joshua Sharfstein, the FDA’s principal deputy commissioner and a pediatrician. “We want to make sure parents, health care professionals, and childcare providers understand the potential risk of suffocation and stop using infant sleep positioners.”

The agencies warned parents that to avoid SIDS and risk of suffocation in infants:

  • Stop using sleep positioners.
  • Never put pillows, infant sleep positioners, blankets, or quilts under a baby or in a crib.
  • And always place an infant on his or her back at night and during nap time.

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